2019 NASCAR Cup Series Season Starts Sunday with Daytona 500

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 60th Annual Daytona 500
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 18: The Thunderbirds perform a flyover prior to the start of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 60th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2018 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo courtesy of NASCARmedia.com/by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

NASCAR fans can rejoice! The 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season is about to roar to life in the Daytona 500 this Sunday (2/17) at Daytona International Speedway!

The unique qualifying used for the Daytona 500 means we already know that William Byron has earned the pole position for the #24 Chevrolet. His Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman earned the second spot in the front row in the #88 Chevrolet for the race. The rest of the field will be set in the Gander RV Duels at Daytona later this evening (2/14).

There are a lot of changes in the NASCAR Cup Series this year. Familiar drivers in new cars with new teams. Ford drivers now racing the new Mustang. Driver and crew chief changes. Rule changes and more. Find out about the changes at NASCAR.com.

What will all the changes mean for the new season? Only time and racing will tell.

Here is a look at some of the stats that might help you pick who you think will win the Daytona 500 this year.

Daytona International Speedway Data
Race #: 1 of 36 (2-17-19)
Track Size: 2.5 miles
Banking/Corners: 31 degrees
Banking/Straights: 3 degrees
Banking/Tri-Oval: 18 degrees

Total Race Length: 500 miles (200 laps)
Stage 1 Length: 150 miles (60 laps)
Stage 2 Length: 150 miles (60 laps)
Final Stage Length: 200 miles (80 laps) 

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Daytona
Kyle Busch – 90.6
Ryan Blaney – 88.7
Kurt Busch – 88.5
Denny Hamlin – 87.9
Jimmie Johnson – 86.8
Joey Logano – 86.0
Bubba Wallace – 83.8
Kevin Harvick – 83.1
Clint Bowyer – 78.8
Jamie McMurray – 78.6
Note: Driver Ratings are compiled from 2005-2018 races (28 total) at Daytona (active drivers only).

Active Cup Series Drivers with Wins at Daytona International Speedway
Jimmie Johnson – 3 Wins (2 Daytona 500 wins)
Kevin Harvick – 2 Wins (1 Daytona 500 Win)
Ryan Newman – 1 Win was a Daytona 500 Win
Kyle Busch – 1 Win (NOT a Daytona 500 Win)
David Ragan – 1 Win (NOT a Daytona 500 Win)
Aric Almirola – 1 Win (NOT a Daytona 500 Win)
Joey Logano – 1 Win was a Daytona 500 Win
Denny Hamlin – 1 Win was a Daytona 500 Win
Brad Keselowski – 1 Win (NOT a Daytona 500 Win)
Kurt Busch – 1 Win was a Daytona 500 Win
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – 1 Win (NOT a Daytona 500 Win)
Austin Dillon – 1 Win was a 2018 Daytona 500 Win
Erick Jones – 1 Win (NOT a Daytona 500 Win)

The 2019 Daytona 500 starts at 1:30 PM central time (2:30 PM eastern time) Sunday, February 17th from Daytona International Speedway.

By: Buck Stevens